*This article is part of a weekly Throwback Thursday Series that will feature key stat lines and short recaps of the last time the New England Patriots played their upcoming opponent.
Last Time Out...
The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers last met on Jan. 22, 2017 in the AFC chmapionship game. The Patriots won in a score of 36-17 to propel them to the Super Bowl.
This game was New England's sixth consecutive conference title game; and after the victory, the Patriots were headed to their ninth appearance in the Super Bowl, and Brady's and Belichick's seventh.
Brady threw for a franchise playoff-best 384 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scores went to wide receiver Chris Hogan who had an exploseive game with nine catches and 180 yards. This was Hogan's first multi-touchdown game of his four-year career.
Brady also threw a touchdown to wide receiver Julian Edelman who hauled in eight catches for 118 yards. Runningback LeGarrette Blount also recorded a touchdown on the ground.
Pittsburgh lost star running back Le'Veon Bell late in the first quarter to a groin injury. The Steelers were playing in their record 16th conference championship game, but had that and their nine-game winning streak come to a close after the loss to New England.
The Patriots moved to 6-1 in conference championship games played at home and 9-4 overall. This game was Belichick and Brady's 24th playoff victory together (before Super Bowl LI, of course.) No other coach and quarterback combination has particapted in that many postseason games together.
This win was especially sweet for Brady and the Patriots' organization as it propelled them to another championship after he had sat out the first four games of the season to serve his suspension.
Tom Brady went 32-of-42 for 384 yards and three touchdowns, while Ben Roethlisberger completed 31-of-47 with one touchdown and one interception.
LeGarrette Blount led the Patriots' rushing with 16 carries for 47 yards and one score. DeAngelo Williams of the Steelers carried the ball 14 times for 34 yards and one touchdown.
Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman had monster games for New England that day. Hogan caught nine passes on 12 targets for 180 yards, two scores and a long of 39 yards. Edelman caught eight of 10 balls for 118 yards, one touchdown and a long of 41.
Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers and DeAngelo Williams all caught seven receptions this game. They totaled 77, 66 and 51 yards, respectively.
New England's defense was led by Logan Ryan who posted nine total tackles, including eight solo.
Lawrence Timmons and Sean Davis led Pittsburgh's defense. Timmons posted 14 total tackles, including nine solo, while Davis recorded nine total tackles and five solo. Davis and Javon Hargrave notched a sack each during the game.
Eric Rowe added an interception for 37 yards for New England.
Patriots' kicker Stephen Gostkowski was three-for-three on field goals, while Steelers' kicker Chris Boswell was one-of-one.
The Patriots and the Steelers will face off in a matchup that has major playoff implications. The Steelers currently sit atop the AFC with a record 11-2 while New England is 10-3. The winner of this game is likely to earn the #1 seed in the conference and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Gametime is set for 4:25pm on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 Heinz Field.